The New England Patriots will seek a third straight victory Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Rams as heavy 13 1/2-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
New England improved its straight-up record to 9-2 with last week’s 22-17 win over the New York Jets, but came up short at the books as 9 1/2-point road favorites. The Patriots now have failed to cover in two of their last three games ahead of Sunday afternoon’s Rams vs. Patriots betting matchup at Gillette Stadium.
The Patriots had their hands full against the rival Jets, failing to hold a narrow 13-10 third-quarter lead that forced quarterback Tom Brady to drive the offense down the field for a pair of scores in the final seven minutes to eke out the win.
Brady did not miss a snap against the Jets despite being hobbled by a knee injury that also kept him off the field during Wednesday’s practice. The 39-year-old still is considered probable for Sunday’s date with Los Angeles.
However, the news isn’t as good for tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was forced to leave last week’s matchup with a back injury. He will undergo back surgery Friday, and the Patriots and the Gronkowski family don’t expect him to return this season.
Injury woes have not slowed down the team’s defense, which has held opponents to 17 points in each of its past two games, and 17 or fewer points in six of its last eight. The Patriots also limited the Jets to just 64 total rushing yards and have contained opposing passers, who have cracked the 300-yard mark just once in their past five games.
But New England’s pass defense faces an unfamiliar threat Sunday in the form of Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff. The 2016 No. 1 pick threw for three touchdowns and 214 yards last weekend, but that proved to be far from enough as the Rams were outclassed 49-21 as 7 1/2-point road underdogs by the New Orleans Saints.
That defeat extends a slide that has seen Los Angeles pick up just one SU and against the spread win in its past seven games, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
Goff’s performance powered the team’s strongest offensive production in five weeks, after tallying a meager nine points per game over its previous four outings. However, the Rams have managed to score more regularly on the road, averaging 21.4 points per game over their past five, while twice scoring 28 or more points.
The 4-7 Rams have enjoyed little success against New England, which has dominated with SU wins in four straight meetings and covered in four of five. The Patriots also have tallied 40 or more points twice in their past three clashes with the Rams.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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